Sim returns to Phantoms on PTO

A key component to the Phantoms’ last Calder Cup triumph returned to the organization on Thursday.

Jon Sim, a journeyman player who has skated at multiple levels both in and out of North America, was signed to a professional tryout contract (PTO) by the Adirondack Phantoms.

“I was in touch with (Paul) Holmgren through my agent. I was on a PTO with San Antonio and things were going good, they wanted to keep me, but the opportunity to come up here and to play in this organization…again…was a great opportunity for me.”

Sim was released from a similar deal with the Rampage last week.

“It’s a business, and I have a family,” Sim offered when asked if the Adirondack deal was a better one than in Southeast Texas. “It was tough with the lockout. I was home until mid-December, working out, being a dad. Now I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing.”

The 35-year-old native of Nova Scotia posted six goals and 13 points in 22 games for the Rampage this season.

Originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in 1996, Sim arrived in the Flyers organization early in the 2004-05 season, in a swap with the Utah Grizzlies for Peter White.

His addition helped galvanize a team-record 17-game win streak, and Sim ended up recording 35 goals and 61 points in 62 regular-season appearances — adding 10 scores and 17 points over 21 postseason contests which ended in a four-game sweep of the Chicago Wolves for the second AHL title in eight seasons for the Phantoms.

The next season, Sim got his shot with the Flyers, signing a free agent deal and netting seven goals and 14 points in 39 games before being dealt to the Florida Panthers in late January of 2006.

Sim had been playing in the Czech Extraliga and the German Elite League after a failed stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the end of the 2010-11 campaign, before returning stateside this year.

“Over there you have a big ice surface, there’s a lot more skating,” Sim added. “I like to be around the net, that’s more my game. The puck always seemed to be other places on the ice. Over in Berlin we won the championship last year and I wouldn’t change it for sure. But I’m a North American hockey player.”

Over 469 NHL starts for the Stars, Predators, Kings, Penguins, Flyers, Panthers, Thrashers and Islanders, Sim has totaled 75 goals and 139 points while collecting 314 penalty minutes and a minus-43 rating.

The Phantoms, currently in last place in the Northeast Division, hope that Sim’s experience will be a stabilizing factor in a locker room shaken up by injuries and the end of the lockout. He’ll also be counted upon to provide offensive spark.

Coming into the weekend, the Phantoms have scored 99 goals in 41 games. Only Abbotsford (98) and Hamilton (87) have scored fewer in the entire AHL